Multifunctions with faithful colour, & film scan?

  polymath 21:44 21 Apr 08

My old Epson scanner's kicked the bucket. My equally veteran (9 years) printer (HP Deskjet 970cxi) is still doing a good job, but the multifunction devices that now dominate the market have modern features I'd like.

I've found some specifications & reviews on the web, have eliminated some models and found a few to get more details of; but it's a slow business, as I'm on dialup till I get connected to the new local wireless BB! So this seemed a good place to ask.

I'm a keen photo amateur. An artist also, and like being able to scan my watercolours (the A4 & smaller ones, at least) I'm very good at colour matching, so a scanner/printer that isn't would be very frustrating! The 1200*2400 resolution of the old scanner still met my needs (without crashing my old computer too much!), but my new computer could handle higher ones.
I also want to scan transparencies; not just 35mm, but also if possible the older, larger size negatives ( I'm currently the family's history researcher). Either built-in or optional extra would be fine. Or, if a separate, dedicated film scanner exists that would do this with highish quality (but not at a professional's price!), I could possibly stretch to that as well as an MFD.
Those are my must-haves.

These bonuses would also be great;

Networkable wirelessly.
Reading a range of camera card types (ideally including SD/MMC, though I don't know how standard those are - I'm new to digital cameras).
Vista-compatible (with or without having to download a driver).
Quietness (open-plan home!).
Bundled (or easily got) software; OCR, Pictbridge (other bundled stuff probably irrelevant).
Low running costs.

Things that don't matter;
Size of unit.
Speed, if the image quality's there. If it's not a document workhorse (I also write), I can turn to the Deskjet for that (touch wood!), and HP have a Vista driver for it.

So, does anyone know of such a beast for, say, £300 or less?

  polymath 14:40 24 Apr 08

Just bouncing this on the offchance...

Forgot a wish-list item; removable scanner lid (I often scan books/objects).

Also that the looks of the unit aren't important; I can always paint it if I don't like the colour (once it's out of guarantee, at any rate).
My ideal colours for computers & peripherals are what reviews call 'boring' or 'dull'; black/white/grey (but not beige). To me they're the best background for judging the colours of images.

  toxin 15:42 24 Apr 08

Take a look at the Brother DCP range.
The 770 gives you wireless capability, reads a selection of memory cards,USB sticks etc.
has Pictbridge.
Colour is silver grey and white.
Not too sure about removable scanner lid, and as far as I know there's no film scanner accessory.
I have the non-wireless version the 350, and I think it's brilliant.
Colour reproduction is excellent, and a test print subsequently scanned and copied to the printer was virtually identical to the original
Scanner resolution in colour is 600 x 2400dpi; printer resolution is upto 1200 x 6000 dpi.
Uses four seperate cartridges CMYK.
All for less than £80; I think the 770 is about £150. Hope this helps.

  polymath 19:59 24 Apr 08

Thanks toxin. I'll certainly have a look at those Brothers.

All suggestions are very welcome; since moving to rural Ireland, I can't just walk into a shop or two & pick up brochures, except when the occasional visit to London coincides with a buying decision.

I have most issues of PC Advisor from the last year or so, but round here they only stock the twin packs of issues 2-3 months old. That's usually fine for me, but the latest group test I have of multifunction printers is last October's, and I gather that new models appear at a brisk rate!

  polymath 13:32 11 May 08

I've looked into lots of multifunctions, and the Brother DCP range does look very good.
I didn't find a multifunction device that scans film any larger than 35mm though (not without spending big shillings, at least), so looked into standalone scanners.
I found Epson's still seriously into scanners, and have now bought their V500 Photo. It's not the cheapest in the range, but going that extra mile's worth it for me (and if the old Epson 1240U one is anything to go by, I'll be using it for years). It's arrived, but not installed yet. It scans a range of film sizes, has a high resolution etc (and is also a reflective A4 scanner). The lid's removable (I had ask Epson about that; their online spec didn't mention it, & they don't always list every film size a model will scan).

If/when my printer packs up, I'll check out the Brother DCPs (and will have more choice, as film scanning won't come into it).

Thanks for the help toxin!

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